I previously talked about the need to see things from the buyer’s perspective, and in the best-possible sales scenario, to actually become the assistant buyer.
In order to help the buyer as much as possible, you have to work to understand the problems that they have and know the problems you solve. And be really clear on this, and very specific.
What’s just as important as knowing what problems you solve, is knowing what problems you don’t solve. In the sales process, some salespeople— intending to be helpful — can end up trying to solve problems that are not what they are there for. While this may seem to be well-meaning, it’s confusing to the buyer. It dilutes the strength of what you do and what you specialize in, and can make you look like an opportunist, not committed to a single vision, or interested in helping the customer to the best of your ability.
This side-stepping in order to take advantage of a different problem can also be symptomatic of a few things:
(1) you’re worried that your solution or whatever you are proposing as a sale isn’t enough, or that you personally feel a need to prove yourself worthy;
(2) that you’re easily distracted. Some people call it the Squirrel Syndrome – as in, “Ooooh look, there’s a squirrel,” also known as the Shiny Penny Syndrome. If you do have a tendency to be distracted — and if you’re an entrepreneur — you wouldn’t be the first. This ability to spot an opportunity, or to want to solve a problem or to be challenged and resolve a situation is a common trait of entrepreneurs.
But, it’s still a distraction. For everyone involved and certainly from the sales process. So, stick to the problem you know you can sell and the best way that you can serve the prospect.
So while it’s important to be crystal clear on what problems you solve, it’s also very important that you have boundaries and that you don’t get distracted, confuse the buyer, and try to solve problems that are simply not in your wheelhouse.
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